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Raiders Quick Slants: It’s that time of year

From interest in Carr to Crosby looming extension, rumor mill will be swirling from here on in

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Las Vegas Raiders v Cincinnati Bengals
Until Derek Carr (4) inks a contract extension with the Las Vegas Raiders, his name will be linked to other quarterback-needy teams.
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Until Derek Carr inks a contract extension with the Las Vegas Raiders, fully expect his name to be linked to quarterback-needy NFL teams. Make no bones about it. That’s just the way it’s going to be until pen comes to paper on a new contract.

Thus, it’s no surprise to read or hear Carr’s name tossed about these days.

The newly minted Washington Commanders, for example, are taking a leave-no-stone-unturned approach at the quarterback position. There’s even wild innuendo the Commanders offered an ungodly package of first-round picks to land Seattle Seahawks signal caller Russell Wilson. If Washington were to look in the desert, they’d find a quarterback on a very manageable final year of a $125 million five-year pact.

But, then again, there’s a very large cloud of uncertainty regarding any team seeking to acquire Carr. The Raiders franchise quarterback has made it known he’d no sooner retire than wear another uniform in the NFL. That perhaps makes any venture DOA.

Flip it to the Raiders side and you can see why the team isn’t in any rush to get an extension done as soon as humanly possible. Carr’s final 2022 cap number isn’t of the crippling variety ($19.877-plus million) and he’s under team control this season — extension or not. While that coin isn’t upper-echelon quarterback money (that cap number ranks 15th amongst signal callers for 2022), it’s a decent amount, nonetheless. That in mind, Vegas head coach Josh McDaniels wasn’t fibbing when he said Carr will undoubtedly be the Week 1 starter this coming season. It’s not like Carr is the holdout-type if he doesn’t get a contract extension.

I’ve written recently the Raiders best move is to extend Carr to a short-term extension, whether that happens this offseason, in-season or post 2022 campaign.

Let’s hit the Quick Slants:

  • It’s starting to look like Vegas is going to extend a key component of its roster before giving the quarterback additional years. The Raiders have engaged in contract negotiations with defensive end Maxx Crosby and a source told The Athletic’s Vic Tafur the edge rusher’s new deal may come before Carr’s extension. Crosby has played in all 49 in his initial three seasons in the NFL and racked up 25 career-sacks as he’s developed into a must-account-for pass rusher since taken in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. It’s looking like $20 million per season may be the going rate as that mark would put Crosby just below Frank Clark in the top six of average per year.
UFC 272: Covington v Masvidal
Only Raiders owner Mark Davis, right, knows how much much the team will shell out for contract extensions with Maxx Crosby and others.
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images
  • Las Vegas general manager Dave Zielger and his personnel staff aren’t likely to get much rest as we careen towards free agency (legal tampering period begins next week) and the draft. Ziegler and crew have to learn about the Raiders roster top and bottom and then scour free agents and collegiate prospects.

“There’s not a lot of sleep, that’s for sure,” Ziegler said at the NFL Combine last week. “Learning (our own) roster is the foundational piece of scouting. So that took a lot of time and effort. When you evaluate every single guy that’s under contract and every free agent, those are a lot of players to evaluate along with all the new things that you kind of get faced with when you take over one of these positions … so it’s a ton of time management.”

  • The New England Patriots axed Kyle Van Noy on Monday to create $5 million in cap space. If Vegas came looking his way, the veteran linebacker could provide system knowledge, depth, and still some pass rush juice.
  • Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku and Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates III were the first two players to get slapped with the franchise tag on Monday. The tags allow both teams more time to negotiate long-term deals.
  • Scratch Calvin Ridley from the NFL this coming season. The Atlanta Falcons wide receiver left the team to tend to his mental health and a league investigation found he bet on NFL games during a five-day period in November. As such, he’s been suspended indefinitely for the 2022 campaign.
  • With the Browns declining the option for Andy Janovich, he along with Patrick Ricard are the top-two unrestricted free agent options on the market. The Raider are likely to re-up their own in Alec Ingold, however, Ricard and Janovich should merit a look-see for Vegas — one of a handful of teams that deploys a true fullback.
  • The 40-yard dash times at the combine used to be a tell-tale sign of who the Raiders were going to draft when legendary owner Al Davis captained the ship. Looking at this past week’s times in Indy and Davis’ interest would’ve surely been piqued. Baylor cornerback Kaylon Barnes had the fastest run at 4.23 second as 14 of the top times were defensive backs or wide receivers. Then there’s Amare Barno at 15 with a 4.36 run. He’s a 6-foot-5, 246-pound defensive end, by the way.
  • Social media was abuzz with Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis’ combine performance. his 4.78 40 was eye-opening as the prospects stands 6-foot-6 and weights 341 pounds. He’s being compared to Ted Washington but I doubt Big Ted would’ve beat Davis’ 40-yard dash time.